Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Blessing of Simple Truths


 

SIMPLE TRUTHS

 

After reading my poems

the woman said that I am deep.

 

If she meant obscure,

obscurity is what I rail against,

but if she meant

the poems brought her

to a new depth

in her own perception,

then, praise God,

from my Bic

flowed

molten gold.

 

I yearn to be a poet

of God’s heart,

conveying Truth

in fresh simplicity,

not abstractions

that people scan

with screwed-up faces

then set aside,

untouched.

 

I want to write

as the shepherd/king,

letting the Spirit

guide my pen.

 

When the page

is put down,

perhaps

revelation

will flash

God’s glorious

guiding Light,

 

perhaps

gold dust

will sparkle

on fingertips.

 

Maude Carolan

 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It's not a pretty sight...It's Beautiful!




 
BEAUTIFUL

 

It’s not a pretty sight -

It’s beautiful.

            Crimson streaming

            From His crown

                        Hands,

                                    Side,

                                                Feet,

            Onto my head,

                        Flowing down my face,

                                    Over my body,

                                                Covering my feet,

                                                            Making me whiter than snow.

 

It’s not a pretty sight -

It’s beautiful.

            It’s agony.

            He calls for His Father,

            Writhes, gasps.

                        Oh, the weighty burden

                        Of sin upon the Sinless One,

                                    The world’s,

                                                Mine,

                                                            Yours.

            Agony,

            Ushering the covenant of salvation -

                        The world’s,

                                    Mine,

                                                Yours.

It’s not a pretty sight -

It’s beautiful.

            It’s finished.

            They take Him down

                        From the terrible Cross.

            Hastily,

                        They place Him in the tomb.

            Securely,

                        They seal the rolling stone.

                        They guard His grave

                                    In awesome,

                                                Tremulous,

                                                            Expectant

                                                                        Stillness.

It’s not a pretty sight -

It’s beautiful.

            His Body, gone.

                        Gone!  With power

                        In one resplendent moment -

                        Seal unsealed,

                                    Stone rolled,

                                                Earth jolted on its axis.

                        Angels appeared, hallowing -

                                    Alleluia!  Alleluia!

                                                He is risen!

                                                            We live

                                                            Because He lives.

 

                                                                                    It is beautiful.

                                                                                    Beautiful.

 

Maude Carolan

The first draft of this poem was written in the dark, several years ago, during a Marty Goetz concert at the Beth Israel Worship Center. He was singing "Love of God." As he sang the words..."Can you see...on that tree...the love of God?" I was immediately inspired to rummage for a piece of paper and scribble the words of what would become this poem of praise.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's all about...THE LAMB




September 15, 2012
Vol. 12, Issue 3

 

 

It’s all about…The Lamb

 

Maude Carolan Pych/Quarterly Poetry Letter

 

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches

 

and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”  Rev 5:12 NASB

 

It’s all about…The Lamb is a quarterly publication for lovers of the Holy Lamb of God, who also enjoy poetry. The purpose is to magnify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and inspire an ever-deepening relationship with Him, the lover of our souls…

 

 

 

WELL, THE LONG HOT, HOT, HOT SUMMER’S OVER. It was a busy season with a few trips and lots of dips in the Totowa (NJ) pool. I also spent intense, yet enjoyable hours editing and putting the finishing touches on my manuscript of poems about pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It’s titled, The Pilgrim’s Pen, and spans three exciting, worshipful and life-changing trips to Israel. Now I must prayerfully determine what to do next. Should I try to find a publisher or should I create another chapbook, here at my desktop, as I’ve done several times before?

 

 

WEDDING BELLS RING TODAY for Pastor Tom Smith, whose poems have previously appeared in this publication, and for his lovely bride, Debbie. Congratulations! And may the Lord bless your marriage and your ministries.

 

TWO FEATURED POETS:

E.J. EMERSON AND JOHN VIGREN

 

In this edition of It’s all about…THE LAMB, I am pleased to feature two fine poets, my friend, E.J. Emerson and the newest member of my writing group, John Vigren.

 

Rev. E.J. Emerson’s poems have appeared in this publication before. She is pastor of Richfield Church in Clifton, NJ. A wordsmith by profession and inspiration—poet, writer, French translator, teacher and preacher EJ is also, by the grace of God, a walking miracle. Four years ago she was diagnosed with stage IV of a very rare blood cancer; and she was literally healed overnight only hours into the first round of chemotherapy. Knowing it was impossible for any of the initial treatment to have brought remission, one oncologist exclaimed, “There’s no explanation for this!” EJ responded, “Oh, yes there is,” throwing her arms heavenward, “I don’t know if you are men of faith, but I invite you to give thanks to God!” And the other oncologist enthusiastically added, “Amen!”

 

EJ and I send poems to one another from time to time. A few weeks ago, she sent one she had just written. The title is “Distressed”. It moved me greatly with its element of surprise. As for one whose prayer list for cancer victims is way too long, it jolted me on first reading. Even more so, when it comes to the plight of children my heart becomes wrenched in my powerlessness to do anything other than call upon The Name of The Lord, which I do without hesitation. I asked EJ to tell me what inspired this poem. Her reply follows:

 

“Sitting in an Irish pub style restaurant waiting for lunch to arrive, I looked around at the d├ęcor, enjoying the Celtic cutout motifs in the metal window grill where I sat. What popped into my mind was the word ‘distressed’, applied to fashionable decorative metalwork and pieces of furniture. Then blue jeans. Then the rest just tumbled out onto the page of the notebook I had brought with me. It wrote itself, taking me completely by surprise when ‘distressed’ became ‘dis-tressed’ and I anguished over the many children, including my step-niece, who have succumbed to cancer.”

 

 

I met John Vigren in June at a meeting of the North Jersey Christian Writers Group (NJCWG) in North Haledon. A poet, this was the first NJCWG meeting he attended. He presented me with a copy of one of his two chapbooks, To Name the Hope. I read it during the summer, and asked John if he would permit me to publish, “No Deal”, in this publication. He gladly agreed.

 

John was born in Flushing, NY, in 1954. He started writing poems suddenly in October, 2010. He won the Founder’s Prize in the Utmost Christian Poetry Contest, and first place in the Christian Publishers Poetry Prize competition. Both contests were based in Canada in 2011. The poet produced a chapbook, What He Has Done, earlier this year, in addition to the book previously mentioned and he’s currently working on a pet memoir. John is also a landscape photographer. I went to his website and was mightily blessed by his amazing photographs. Check it out at: www.peacefuleye.com

 

John told me, “’No Deal’ was inspired by a relatively inconsequential adversity. I was saved in July, 1997, at age 43, when my addiction recovery blew to pieces. I reached out to a Christian friend, who suggested I open the Book of John. When I did, I received the Holy Spirit with power. My poetic agenda is to plead Christ’s case by describing His matchless power in everyday situations.”

 

John lives in Hope, NJ, with his wife, Elizabeth.

 

 

+++ THE POEMS FOLLOW +++

 

DISTRESSED

 

Distressed wood

Distressed metal

Distressed jeans

Latest gotta-have trends

At the check-us-out chic

Main Street Antiques

Online boutiques

 

*   *   *

 

Dis-tressed children

Distressed parents

Distress calls hurled skyward

Propelled by pain

Despair, disbelief,

Disjointedness,

With those everyday

Take-it-away cries

 

Rock by rock

We build our own wailing wall

 

Maranatha.

 

© E. J. Emerson

August 19, 2012

 

 

 

 

NO DEAL

 

Climbing metal steps, I now recall

the times that I was blessed in doing good.

And I recall the blessings I’ve forgone

by not deliberately blessing those

around me. That is, in the same moment,

not waiting for the next mission trip.

And other times I thought if I do this, I will

be blessed. Oh what a tiring thought:

If I do this I will be blessed. A little

more, a little less, the world’s most insipid

vending machine. But now like one awake

and throwing off a dream, despising it,

mad passion comes: No deal. I will do it

anyway. I will pray and give without

a reason. And I will get nothing back,

just as You gave all for me, full knowing

I never could or would repay. Or, even

like most, thank You. And in deciding this,

and only then, joy fills me. I will make

no deal with man or God to bless or praise.

 

© John Vigren

2011

 

 

Permission to forward or copy is automatic and encouraged as long as credit is given.

 

Comments are welcome and appreciated.

 

 

 

A FEW CLOSING WORDS…

 

 

Dear Subscriber,

Have a glorious autumn! Any day now, the Master Painter is about to astonish us with His vibrant color spectacular! I hope you get the opportunity to walk through piles of crunchy leaves and perhaps pick a pumpkin or a basketful of apples. My husband’s mouth is watering for a homemade pumpkin pie.

 

To my Jewish friends and subscribers, with Rosh Hoshanna and Yom Kippur right around the corner…May your name be inscribed!

 

…And as a reminder to all email subscribers, when the link appears in your email box, December 15, 2012, just a click of the mouse will bring you to “Maude’s Poems “and the next edition of It’s all about…The Lamb. Till then…

 

God be with ewe,

 

Maude

 

 

 

After God’s Own Heart Publishing

 

P.O. Box 2211, Woodland Park, NJ 07424

 


 


 

 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reflecting on 9/11





NOW THAT A MONTH HAS PASSED


October 11, 2001


 

No one sees us weeping

No one sees us praying

No one sees us trying

to piece together pieces

in our private places, but

it’s flags we see

They color bustling boulevards

and line our sleepy side streets

Huge ones hang from poles

in front of municipal buildings

and are draped across storefronts

Star spangled banners wave briskly in the breeze

over our white-washed porches

We stick smaller ones in flower boxes

along with the chrysanthemums

Construction paper ensigns

are taped to every classroom window

Flags flutter from car antennae

and are glued to our bumpers

Ostentatious ones stream from rusty red pick-ups

and sleek eighteen-wheelers

Our colors are strung from bridges

and unfurled across overpasses

We even see them tied from tree to tree

 

Apollo Flag had customers lined up

outside and around the building for over a week

The front of an old clapboard house

on Webster Avenue is painted like Old Glory

and the cement retaining wall is studded with stars

The owner’s boss gave him the day off

to finish the job, and

The Philadelphia Inquirer

snapped it and printed it on Page 2

People drive by just to see it

A talented graphic artist painted

a weeping Lady Liberty

flanked by red, white and blue

on “The Wall” in Ringwood

as a poignant memorial to the missing

 

No one sees us weeping

No one sees us praying

No one sees us trying

to piece together pieces

in our private places, but

it’s flags we see

We see them on patriotic T-shirts

on rhinestone stars and stripes

and ribbons pinned to our lapels

We even place miniature banners

in miniature stands on shelves and desktops

and download tiny ones

to ever-wave in the lower right corner

of our computer screens

That magnificent banner

raised high above the wreckage and carnage

where until one month ago

The Twin Towers stood

is seared upon our memory banks

 

Suddenly, it’s not an occasional flag we see

not a rare salute

Suddenly, we’re singing “God Bless America”

and our national anthem, a little louder

a lot more earnestly

our hand placed firmly upon our heart

Suddenly, we’re more apt to shed

a “proud to be an American” tear

Suddenly, it’s not merely accustomed banners

flying from government buildings

and outside new car dealerships

Suddenly, the stars and stripes are not reserved

for Flag Day and the Fourth of July

Suddenly, we’re flying crisp new flags

of a crisp new patriotism

and frayed dingy flags

of a proud old patriotism, renewed

 

Tears may flow in secret

for the victims and ourselves

Heart-wrenched prayers may appear invisible

as they work in realms beyond what eyes can see

but in the light of day

and beneath porch lights at night

our true colors

our red, white and blue colors

fly boldly in terror’s twisted face

and it’s flags, flags, flags we see

 

Maude Carolan